The European Microwave Signature Laboratory (EMSL), recently built at the Joint Research Center of the Commission of European Communities (CEC) at Ispra, is a state-of-the-art experimental facility which provides unique opportunities in terms of measurement capabilities and data processing. The laboratory is mainly devoted to polarimetric radar measurements aimed to complement air- and spaceborne remote sensing experiments by providing stable and reproducible environmental conditions and flexible operational modes for well-controlled experiments. As one of the European Large Facilities, the EMSL is open to collaboration with all interested research groups both within the European Union and outside. The EMSL anechoic chamber has an hemispherical shape with a diameter of 20 m and hosts two independently movable TX/RX modules plus a set of fixed receiving antennae. A positioner with linear and rotary movements is used to transport and accurately move the target under test inside the chamber. The selection of different geometrical configurations (mono-, bi-, multi-static) and measurement modes (scatterometric, 2D and 3D imaging) is made possible by this special architecture of the facility. In this paper, first a description of the main components of the laboratory is given, then the performances of the measurement system are discussed on the basis of the results of verification tests (Stability, Sensitivity, Antenna pattern characterization) and finally a selection is presented of the most significant outcomes of the experiments undertaken until now.